User Story:  A friend of mine was pulled over very late one Saturday night on Old Hickory Blvd. and taken in for a DUI.  The road he was travelling down bordered between two counties (Davidson County and Williamson County) but never actually crossed into the county on the southern border (Williamson).  A state trooper booked him at the Williamson County jail that evening.  

My buddy is a good guy, manages about 15 people at a large construction firm and heads up the company’s largest philanthropic event and group.  And even though he had a clean background, the assistant district attorney gave him the maximum punishment including several days in jail, 450 community service hours, suspended license, and a permanent record for life.  All of this, even with his lawyer pleading.  A court case was set a month later.

Growing up in the area, I know that Williamson County does not touch Old Hickory Blvd. and questioned why he wasn’t taken to Davidson County. I pulled up Davidson County’s property map and asked him to point out exactly where he was pulled over.  The map I created was then used by his lawyer as Exhibit A.

Davidson_Williamson Border Map

All charges were dropped…

Do I think he should have been punished for his DUI? Hell yes.   For what it’s worth, he was extremely hard on himself throughout the entire process.  The only reason he fought the case was to keep it off his permanent record.  The state trooper has the option to travel to Davidson County and re-book him, re-fill out all of the paperwork and re-spend hours in court.  The re-booking process usually doesn’t happen.

I wanted to share this story because it is a great example of how GIS was used in the court of law and proves inefficiencies in the judicial system.

Marshall Cammack

Marketing Manager at GEO-Jobe GIS Consulting
Marshall is the head editor of MapThis! and a firm believer in the story GIS technology creates out of location-driven data. He is passionately developing the MapThis! Initiative to help support GIS education.

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